Do you read the comments?

I saw this image today and wondered what your thoughts are. Do you read the comments? Or find any negativity in the comments section hard to handle?


image credit

Depends. IT always depends, and the more fans you have, it seems like the less you need to read them. I think that motto itself doesn’t really apply to any creator on Patreon as we get less benefactors compared to someone on Twitch or YouTube per se. On top of the reality that all our patrons are directly helping us, it is a lot more useful and respectful to read their comments and see if there is any way to further our craft. The kind of people who are willing to part ways with a couple bucks a month to directly support us, are also the kind of people who form their arguments well and are more kind in general. This is one of the best advantages and charms of Patreon compared to any other creator platform, I believe.

Burn all your YouTube comments though.

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I ALWAYS read and respond to Patron comments on my posts. That is an easy and fruitful way to engage with them, which is one of my important (unspoken) goals with Patreon.

The same for non-spam/marketing Comments on my Blogposts. The first I delete as spam, the 2nd I use as engagement opportunities.

As for youtube/vimeo–well, it is easy to throw stones on the internet. If they are positive, I respond. If not, I usually ignore and remind myself that their comments are about THEM, not about me or my work.

That said, it was instructive to discover something in Youtube comments a few years ago.

I teach Guitar on JamPlay.com and they started to post some of my early lessons to youtube as marketing. One of my lessons on the tune Jingle Bells went viral pretty quickly with over half a million views.

I was feeling pretty excited about that…until I realized the viral part came from a split screen view that made it look like I had no right arm…it went right from my sleeve to my hand…and all the comments that helped it go viral were: “Look, the dude has a stubby arm!” “Ah, mutant hand!” etc.

So, I had to shake my head and realize I got caught in the fantasy of star-dom once again…and got back to work, building network a fan at a time.

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I always read patron comments and comments from listeners on my podcast websites. Feedback is crucial, so I want to know what is working and what isn’t.

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Haha I’m pretty sure that piece of embroidery is a reference to rule #1 of the internet – never read the comments on news pieces, youtube videos, etc, unless you want to lose all faith in humanity.

But as for people commenting on my work, of course I read them, and I respond to every one (even a simple thank you on sites where I’m flooded with them). The conversation with people who love my work is incredibly important. Even if we assume a purely mercantile point of view, people you respond to are more likely to remain a loyal follower. The people who comment the most on my work, thereby leading to exchanges, are the ones spending more money on it. That aside, though, there is a lot to learn, and a lot of inspiration to gain from reading and responding to what people say. There are always people who will think they’re qualified to give you advice when they don’t really know what they’re talking about, but there are ways to graciously deal with them, and it’s all good training. Even trolls are good training; you learn that the best response is marking them as spam and keeping your attention on what matters. Negativity is something we all have to learn to see for what it is and deal with accordingly, unless we intend to spend our lives in a sealed room, browsing a heavily filtered internet.

I’m not quite sure why anyone would post work online and not want to read comments, but if that is the case, it’s more respectful to turn off commenting or state clearly that you’re not able to read them. It’s a bit aloof to let followers spend time writing comments nobody’s going to read, as if their time was less worthy of consideration than yours.

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Patreon comments? Yes. I try to reply if it seems necessary and/or fun.

Comments on my web sites and social media pages? Yes. God help anyone who leaves something rude, though, because I will banish people to Siberia instantly. Which is probably why I have comments shut off completely in some places. I don’t need to read other people’s crazy on my pages.

Comments elsewhere on social media? Not often. It makes me mourn for the future of the human race.

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On my own content, for sure. I’m always trying to chat with my fans.
Other content, it depends.

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Every single one when I get notified (because patreon doesn’t notify non-supporters comments and replies)

About negativity on comments, I just tell them to stop, and if they don’t, they get blocked. Luckily, it very rarely happens.

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Depends on where. On Patreon, yes.

I do at least skim the comments, on my other social media sites, to catch the spam that slips through the automated nets.

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